Festivals of India – KUMBHAMELA | भारतीय त्योहार – कुंभमेला :
Although the word Kumbha finds place in the Vedic and Puranic texts, there is no clear evidence regarding its origin. The Vedic hymns merely indicate the spiritual implications of the Kumbha. In the Purans, the Kumbha has been mentioned as a holy place for the performance of death rites on the banks of the Saraswati where holy bath is believed to bestow the benefits of Yagya performance. Festivals of India – KUMBHAMELA | भारतीय त्योहार – कुंभमेला
The Kumbhas of the Vedas thus represent spirituality and that of the Puranas benefits from the ritual bath. This is a Vedic celebration which includes mass Yagyas, Prayers, Oblations, feasts for Gods and friends.
Participation and a holy dip during the Kumbha Mela believed to release the persons from temporal bondage and awaken spiritual feelings. Irrespective of diversities in caste, creed, religions and languages, , the deep faith in the religious heritage of the country is reflected in the Kumbha Mela. Kumbha Mela otherwise is the indicator of spiritual democracy of the country. Festivals of India – KUMBHAMELA | भारतीय त्योहार – कुंभमेला
The story behind the Kumbha Mela is that 14 items including items like Moon, Laxmi, Airavat elephant, Long-necked Horse and Poison were churned out of the sea by the Gods and Demons. The last item was nectar which was claimed by both the parties. The Gods handed over the Amrit Kumbha (nectar jug) to Jayanta son of Indra to keep it hiding. Therefore as per the instructions of Sukracharya, the Demons fought against the Gods which continued for 12 days (equivalent to 12 years calculated by men). KUMBHAMELA | भारतीय त्योहार – कुंभमेला
For safe custody of the nectar Jayanta with the Amrit Kumbha roamed around 12 places out of which 8 were in heaven and 4 places namely Prayag, Haridwar, Nasik and Ujyaini were on earth. In another version, while he was roaming from place to place drops of nectar fell down in the above places making these holy ones. In course of time, Kumbha Mela was organised in these places.
Kumbha Mela is of two types –
- Purna Kumbha Mela
- Ardha Kumbha Mela
Taking into consideration the posotions of planets in the constillation Kumbha Mela is observed. Jupiter takes 12 years to go round the zodiac ring. Accordingly, at an interval of 12 years, Purna Kumbha Mela is observed at one of the four places. Besides this Ardha Kumbha Mela is also celebrated at Allhabad and Haridwar. While circling, Jupiter positions at the sixth place away from Taurus (Brusha rashi), Allhabad celebrates Ardha Kumbha. Similarly, it is observed at Haridwar when Jupiter positions at sixth place away from Aquarius (Kumbha rashi).
When Jupiter positions in Leo (Singh rashi) and Sun in Aries (Mesha) or Leo (Singh), Purna Kumbha Mela is organised at Nasik and Ujyaini. Even though the origin of Kumbha Mela is not known yet, celebrations of the Mela features during the time of Harshvardhan and from the descriptions of Chinese traveller Huen Tsang.
No one visits Kumbha Mela for material gain. People from all walks of life gathered together create the aura of Love, peace and friendship. As a reflection of Indian unity parallel to Ted festival of Vietnam and Water festival of Cambodia, the Kumbha Mela depicts the ancient cultural heritage of the country. Festivals of India – KUMBHAMELA | भारतीय त्योहार – कुंभमेला
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